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Writing

Posts in Travel
Fantasy to Reality: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become a lot more realistic vs. optimistic and in certain cases - quite cynical of the world we live in. Seeing the ups and downs at a crazy pace has led me to realize that not everything is as it seems.

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Fast-forward to this past weekend: my wife and I spent a few days at Universal Studios in Orlando. She’s a huge fan of Harry Potter and from all that I had read, it was worth visiting the theme park.

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Despite battling the heat for two full days, I have to say that I am impressed! I’ve read every book in the series and the minute I stepped into either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, it felt like I was transported into another universe.

The employees at the Resort always had a smile on their face and stayed in character 100% of the time. The Butterbeer was incredible and the attention to detail was on another level. Every little thing mimicked the Harry Potter universe - down to their own currency which was legal tender at the Park.

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As a technologist, I was also amazed at how they implemented the wands throughout. For context, visitors can purchase a want for ~$50 and then use the sensors on the tip of the wands to interact with various window displays - making it a highly amusing people watching activity.

While neither of did any of the rides, we had an incredible time admiring the details and capping it off with a beautiful light show at Hogwarts.

5 Days in Japan

I had a few meetings in Hong Kong and instead of flying all the way around the world for 2 days, I decided to stop by Hong Kong for a few days. With no specific agenda in mind - with the exception of good food and some photography - it was an exhilarating trip filled with cultural nuances and some incredible new opportunities.

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Turks & Caicos

A few years ago, my brother and I visited Turks & Caicos on a whim. It was a fairly inexpensive destination, it was close to New York and the landscape looked amazing!

When we got there, it was empty and we had an absolute blast!

Fast-forward 7 years later to this past weekend – my wife took me to Turks & Caicos for an early birthday celebration and it wasn’t anything like our first visit there:

  • Flights have gotten significantly more expensive

  • Full-service hotels aren’t even close to being affordable - even the base hotel room costs more than an overwater villa in some of the nicer Maldivian resorts

  • While still relatively empty, the amount of people on the islands have increased dramatically

I think it is only a matter of time where all these untouched and natural landscapes get overrun by tourists. But for now - there’s still time to explore the best of nature.

Weekend Getaway: Sag Harbor
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While looking for at destinations for a surprise trip for our parent’s anniversary, we looked at a lot of different options but decided to check out a summer destination in the middle of winter: Sag Harbor.

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Just over 100 miles away from Manhattan, it turned out to be a great location for us to relax, wind down and celebrate their 34th anniversary. While things are definitely quiet for the off-season, it was a great way to experience the sights without any of the summer crowds.

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As travel and tourism has soared thanks to social media, it most certainly is a breath of fresh air to travel to places that are quaint and charming – even for a few days.

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